As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the D 403 road – which is currently being constructed in Rijeka – is one of the most important and expensive infrastructure projects in the entire country at this moment in time. Known as the most expensive Croatian road, it will eventually connect the container terminal of the Port of Rijeka with the A7 motorway as part of a larger trans-European transport network. This very difficult and demanding construction project is estimated to stand at a staggering approximate of 460 million kuna, as reported by HRT.
A whole decade has now gone by with people waiting for the most expensive Croatian road’s actual realisation. Roundabouts, viaducts and a tunnel that stretches under urban areas is unique in the Republic of Croatia, and this adds to the difficulties faced in this phase.
“We’ve reached the Podmurvice tunnel, which is 1,263 metres long and very demanding because it was built in the middle of the city. We have two viaducts – Mlaka, 150 metres long, and Piopi, which is 315 metres long,” said Martin Abramovic from Croatian Roads (Hrvatske ceste).
The construction of this brand new and much anticipated road means the development of a complete Croatian traffic route, as was pointed out by Denis Vukorepa of the Rijeka Port Authority.
“This new road will be connected to the container terminal, we’ll cover the entire hinterland of [this part of] Europe, and we will also connect that road through what is now the port area, tomorrow we’ll take that area out of the port area with the waterfront, you will have a ring going around the City of Rijeka,” Vukorepa explained.
The dizzying rise in prices as a result of ongoing inflationary pressures requires a certain risk in solving all the previously outlined plans. “The increasing prices of materials, energy sources and raw materials are certainly putting pressure on liquidity, we’re in negotiations with investors and we hope that we will soon find a solution to at least partially cover these costs,” said Sanjin Puric from GP Krk.
Another challenge in realising this capital project, which European Union funds are financing as much as 85 percent, is the lack of manpower here in Croatia. This country is now importing more and more labour from elsewhere, and the construction of the so-called most expensive Croatian road is no exception.
Part of the labour force present on the construction site today are from Turkey, India, and of course, from neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, which isn’t unusual. The D403 road construction project began back in mid-2020, and the plan is for it to be completed at the end of June next year, when the traffic jams on Rijeka’s roads should finally become a thing of the past.
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